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Numerous film adaptations, musical compositions, ballet productions and educational study courses are consumed without a second thought. Wortley and Smallbone traced the history of teen marriages across the Atlantic, from the Old World to the New.

The situation was similar on the other side of the Atlantic; Bullough reports the case in 1689 of a nine-year-old bride in Virginia.

This account claims Mary was consecrated to the Lord and served in the Temple.

When she reached the age of twelve years old, she was betrothed to Joseph. And the priest said to Joseph, You have been chosen by lot to take into your keeping the virgin of the Lord.

To many Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith’s sealing to fourteen-year-old Helen Mar Kimball in 1843 is one of the most “troublesome” aspects of early LDS Church history. Have we paused to ask: “Is it truth or only cultural paradigm that causes repulsion with Helen’s ‘underage marriage’?

Discovering this fact has shocked many Latter-day Saints, leading to confusion and inner conflict. ” In Medieval and early modern European societies, the age of marriage remained low, with documented cases of brides as young as seven years, although marriages were typically not consummated until the girl reached puberty (Bullough 2004).

It similarly recounts: Now when righteous Joseph became a widower, my mother Mary, blessed, holy, and pure, was already twelve years old.

For her parents offered her in the temple when she was three years of age, and she remained in the temple of the Lord nine years.

And when she was twelve years old there was held a council of the priests, saying: Behold, Mary has reached the age of twelve years in the temple of the Lord. But Joseph refused, saying: I have children, and I am an old man, and she is a young girl.

What then shall we do with her, lest perchance she defile the sanctuary of the Lord? I am afraid lest I become a laughing-stock to the sons of Israel.

The Gospel of James (also referred to as the Infancy Gospel of James or the Protoevangelium of James), recounts the story of Mary’s upbringing.

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